Will the FIA listen to the drivers? 

Drivers have shared genuine concerns about the impact F1’s new generation of cars could have on their long-term health due to the aggressive bouncing experienced at high speed. 

At last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, GPDA director George Russell vocally criticised the regulations and warned it is just a “matter of time” before F1 suffers a “major incident”.

That was before Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton gingerly hobbled out of his car with back pain following Sunday’s grand prix. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly called on the FIA to “save” the drivers from “ending up with a cane at 30 years old”, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was the first driver to publicly suggest that something should be done. 

It did also emerge in Baku that teams were offered the chance to change the regulations last year to eradicate the risk of potential porpoising, but the idea was rejected. 

There is also an argument over whether a change on safety grounds would be fair given that the bouncing phenomenon has impacted some teams worse than others, in particular Mercedes. 

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: "You have a choice where you run your car, don't you?. You should never run a car that's unsafe. But I think that's more for the technical guys. Because certain cars have issues. And there are some cars that have very few issues.

"So it would seem unfair to penalise the ones that have done a decent job, versus the ones that have perhaps missed the target slightly."

Expect the issue to be brought up in the drivers’ briefing on Friday and the debate to rumble on…

Can Ferrari bounce back? 

After their disastrous double DNF in Azerbaijan, Ferrari badly need a response in Canada. 

Red Bull and Max Verstappen hold the momentum in the championship, with the Dutchman winning four of the last five races and his teammate Sergio Perez victorious in the other. 

Despite taking four pole positions in a row, Charles Leclerc has failed to convert any of them into a win. More worryingly, he has retired with an engine failure while leading twice in the last three races. 

Ferrari’s reliability woes have left Leclerc facing a mountain to climb, with the Monegasque slipping to third in the championship and 34 points behind his main rival Verstappen. 

With grid penalties for engine changes likely further down the line, Ferrari must start maximising on their one-lap performance. The Italian outfit desperately need to bounce back with victory in Montreal to stop Verstappen running away in the title race. 

Will Mercedes make progress? 

After appearing to address their porpoising issues with an upgrade at the Spanish Grand Prix, extreme bouncing once again plagued the Mercedes car in Monaco and Baku. 

Although Mercedes stressed the latest problem was different to porpoising, it still hampered the performance of Russell and in particular, Hamilton, after the team went “too far” with their set-up in Azerbaijan. 

Russell scored his third podium of the season in Baku but acknowledged that was down to both Ferraris retiring, and not based on the genuine performance of the W13. 

The Briton called on his team to unlock more performance from their troubled car in the upcoming races, though he is braced for bottoming to again be an issue around Montreal’s bumpy streets.

While Mercedes remains hopeful of extracting inherent pace from the W13, Toto Wolff has not ruled out full-scale concept changes for 2023 if the team cannot salvage their season. 

“Montreal is a really good race for us because Montreal is bouncy, Montreal it's high kerb ride,” Wolff said. “And after Montreal I expect to have a better view.” 

A long-awaited return to Montreal 

The F1 paddock will descend on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the first time in three years this weekend as Montreal makes a welcome return to the schedule. 

Canada has been missing from the calendar since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but it is finally back, and will play host to the ninth round of the 2022 season. 

Despite Montreal traditionally a happy hunting ground for Hamilton, who scored the first of his 103 wins in Canada back in 2007, Mercedes’ lack of performance means it is unlikely he will be able to add to his tally of seven Canadian Grand Prix victories.

Hamilton won the last race to be held in Canada after Sebastian Vettel was handed a controversial time penalty for the way in which he rejoined the circuit during their duel for the win. 

The challenging track is a fan and driver favourite and usually throws up an exciting race and the odd surprise along the way. 

It is no surprise then that F1 is expecting the biggest-ever attendance for a Canadian Grand Prix, with a total of 320,000 fans set to witness the action over the weekend. 

Pressure on home drivers 

For Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, the weekend will provide the pair with a chance to contest their home race.

Both drivers arrive on home soil under pressure after very underwhelming starts to the season, having been comprehensively outperformed by their respective teammates thus far. 

After making his F1 debut during the COVID-hit 2020 season, Latifi will finally get the chance to take part in his first home grand prix. But could it also be his last? 

Latifi’s future is set to come into question in Montreal, with Alpine reserve driver and reigning F2 champion Oscar Piastri heavily linked with his seat and a move to Williams next year. 

If ever there was a time for Latifi to turn things around, it is now.